- Title: Argentina government, unions agree on deal to boost car production - RTRS
- Date: 15th March 2017
- Summary: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CONTAINERS WITH EXPORT PRODUCTS AT PORT OF BUENOS AIRES EXTERIOR OF CAR DEALERSHIP INTERIOR OF DEALERSHIP WITH CARS FOR SALE CLIENT AT DEALERSHIP PACHECO, BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE, ARGENTINA (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CARS ON PRODUCTION LINE
- Embargoed: 29th March 2017 17:45
- Keywords: cars trade deal labor unions jobs
- Location: BUENOS AIRES, PACHECO, ARGENTINA
- City: BUENOS AIRES, PACHECO, ARGENTINA
- Country: Argentina
- Topics: Government/Politics,International Trade
- Reuters ID: LVA003682NIO3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Argentina has reached a deal with labour unions aimed at increasing car production to one million per year by 2023, President Mauricio Macri said on Wednesday (March 15), as part of his drive to increase investment by reducing high labour costs.
The pact took months to negotiate and should create 30,000 jobs between now and the expiration of the deal in 2023, Macri said in a news conference.
"Today is a very special day for this industry, a clearly historic day I would say. That is why we called we called this event-- because after months of joint work, of dialogue between the national government, the provinces, representatives of the family of this industry's workers, the terminal industry, the small and medium-sized enterprises, the auto parts network-- we reach this strategic agreement that has two basic goals for 2023: produce 1 million cars and not just care for the family of workers of this very important industry but also have it grow by 30,000 jobs," he said.
Auto production in Argentina hit a record 828,771 vehicles in 2011. Since then it has fallen steadily to 472,776 last year, due mainly to economic problems in Brazil, the top importer of Argentine automobiles and parts.
In February, production fell 29.7 percent from the previous year, according to the local auto producers association.
Businesses say Argentine labour costs must come down before they make investments seen as necessary to restore economic growth.
But trying to make labour cheaper has brought the centre-right president eye-to-eye with tough union bosses allied with the opposition Peronist party.
Macri had some early success, clinching a deal in January to reduce benefits for workers in the vast but barely tapped Vaca Muerta shale formation in Patagonia.
Reuters reported in February the auto industry deal would be next.
Unions in Argentina are used to tough negotiations and they are not shy about picketing, blocking roads or going on strike in the pursuit of pay packages that workers rely on to keep up with inflation clocked at around 40 percent last year.
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